04 October 2011

Klosterman's Questions: One.

A few months ago on WireTap, the episode centered on questions from Chuck Klosterman's book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto.  There are twenty-three hypothetical questions in the book, and Klosterman uses them to determine whether or not he could really love someone or be genuinely good friends with them based on their answers to these questions.

I really do not like hypothetical questions.  I feel as though I can never win - I always have to pick from two scenarios, both are equal in their cons or terribleness.  This is less the case with Klosterman's questions.  They're mostly just hard questions to answer.  You need to really know where you stand on some things, and you need to be willing to be honest with yourself when you try to answer these questions.

One of my birthday resolutions that I made yesterday is that I'm going to do more things that take me out of my comfort zone.  You know, for character building and stuff.  And so, I've decided to take each of the twenty-three questions and answer them, one at a time.  And you can answer them, too!  You might learn some interesting things about yourself that you never knew before.

Q. Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician.  Let us assume he can do five simple tricks - he can pull a rabbit from a hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein.  These are his only tricks and he can't learn any more; he can only do these five.  HOWEVER, it turns out he's doing these five tricks with real magic.  It's not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space.  He's legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence.  Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

A. Yes, the magician would be more impressive that Albert Einstein.  Why?  Well, there are a few things.

First, I like bunnies.

Second, even though I don't consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to physics or any kind of science, it is feasible that I could understand everything Einstein taught the world, with enough study.  With ever fiber of my being, there is no way I could ever understand the magic or its nature.  That is interesting, and the magician has something new to offer.  Something new and original is always going to have at least some appeal over the old and tired.

And lastly, as was said by Klosterman himself in the episode of WireTap, if this magician can perform with real magic - even just these five things - it doesn't even matter what Einstein accomplished in his lifetime.  Science as we know it would be completely invalidated if you could make a bunny appear out of thin air.

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